Question

I had a bad breakup in January last year and my boyfriend really broke my heart. I moved to Johannesburg at the beginning of the year and he also lives in the city. We’ve met up a couple of times and I’m always happy to see him.

The trouble is he moved on a month after we split up but I can’t get over him. I reject every guy I meet because they’re not him. How can I move on like he did?

Answer

Sometimes when we’re in a relationship we get in it so deep we don’t leave any room for disappointment. It seems you were so into your boyfriend that you never even considered the idea of what would happen if the relationship came to an end one day. Sometimes thinking about the what-ifs isn’t being a prophet of doom or being negative, it’s being realistic. You need to go back and deal with the emotions you felt when you broke up with your ex because it seems you haven’t dealt with this at all.

There should be an acknowledgment of hurt from your side, not denial. Only once the healing process is complete will you be able to move on. If you’re still harbouring the hurt of the past you won’t be able to see another man as a potential boyfriend. And even if you did, it would be unfair on the person to enter a relationship with that kind of baggage.

You can contact Famsa on 011-975-7106/7 for an office near you to set up a counseling session.

Question

I’m happily married and have two young kids. My family is very supportive and I love them, but I’m also feeling very lonely. I don’t have any real friends of my own. I know some other parents but I don’t know them very well. The town where I live is nice but there’s no one here who I can be close to. I don’t even see my old school friends anymore. I don’t want to sound ungrateful to my family but I would like to have some other people I can talk to.
Do you think I have a problem making friends? What can I do?

Answer
 
There’s a saying people like to use: family is everything. But if we’re honest we know we need other people to have a fulfilling life. Yes, family comes first and we feel content when all is well with our family, but there are other significant relationships that are necessary for one’s happiness – and these are friendships.

The lack of this is the reason for the void you’re experiencing now.You don’t have a problem making friends and you’re not being ungrateful, so get that idea out of your head. Maybe you’re around people who don’t have the same interests as you at the moment, and  because of this it seems difficult for you to get close to them.You can try to rekindle your connection with your old school friends through social media and from there plan to get together on a frequent basis.

You can also find people in your town who share the same hobbies as you. Once you get involved in activities you enjoy it will be easier for you to meet new people you can become close friends with. Don’t despair and good luck.

Question

I’m 32 and my girlfriend is 31. We’ve been together for nine years. We have a seven-year-old son and love each other very much. There is one problem: she has bad breath. I don’t want to confront her about it because I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I need to do something. Please help.

Answer

It’s wonderful that you are aware that you need to deal with this in a way that does not hurt her feelings. She has a good man in you. The causes of bad breath aren’t always simple. It’s not necessarily because she has poor oral hygiene. It could, for example, be caused by a problem in her digestive system and if that is the case then no amount of brushing, flossing or mouthwash will eliminate it. 

This is a sensitive issue so you’re right that you need to tread carefully and make sure whatever you suggest doesn’t come across as offensive to her. Do some research by Googling the causes of bad breath and subtly suggest some of the remedies or buy them for her. Maybe consider making it a shared experience by trying some of the new products with her as well – this way she may not suspect anything.

If none of these remedies make a difference, then you’ll have to talk to her about it. Just be gentle.